Sunday, October 27, 2013

The best apple galette ever...seriously!!...for Great Maine Apple Day

I do have to blow my own trumpet and stand behind the title of this post as, indeed, I have perfected this recipe over the last few weeks to an amazing level of sublime. I will tell you in detail how I achieve above pictured deliciousness in hopes you will try this galette and be taken to realms of swooning only thus far imagined in your dreams - OK maybe that's a bit over the top but this is a WINNER!!!!

And one again we start with my go to delight:

STICKY TOFFEE SAUCE:

2 1/2oz/ heaped 1/4 cup sugar 

1 1/2 oz / 3 tablespoons salted butter

2 tablespoons cream or half and half


..and if you really like that salty tang - which I do - a good pinch of extra salt.

1. Put all three ingredients in a pan to melt together, mix and keep mixing whilst letting it bubble a couple of minutes until it gets a bit thick - allow to cool and pour over (reserving about 2 tablespoons for the pecans) about 6 - 7ounces of sliced apples of your choice - I am still using the rag, tag and bobtail apples from my old apple trees behind the house:
 Now add about 12 pecans to the reserved sticky toffee sauce and stir them over medium heat in the pan until they are fragrant and a little toasted - about 3 or 4 minutes - set aside.
Set your caramelled apples aside also and now start making the pastry - if you do it exactly how I am saying you should get a crust that is like a crispy, melting cookie/biscuit - it is glorious!

PASTRY: Please do weigh your ingredients if you can - the result will be much more reliable!

Start with everything cold, cold, cold - I even put my flour and sugar in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour before I start making the pastry!

5ozs/ 1 1/4 cups of white flour

4ozs salted butter - hardened in the freezer

2oz/heaped 1/4 cup of sugar

about 2 to 4 fluid ounces/1/8 to 1/4 COLD water - the amount will vary depending on the weather and your flour

METHOD: This is by hand and not in a cuisinart but if you want to use a machine adaption should be easy - you just swish a couple of times for each step until the dough comes together in a ball.

1. Sift the flour and add the sugar and blend.

2. Grate the hardened butter into the flour:
 3. Gently work butter into flour until it resembles coarse meal or swish in a food processor to achieve the same.
4. Add some of the water and start squushing the pastry and keep adding bit by bit of water until it can be formed into a non-sticky ball - less water is better so squush hard until it comes together:
How your pastry ball should look
5. Put into the fridge to rest for at least one hour - or as long as you like.
TO ASSEMBLE THE GALETTE:
1. Take your pastry ball from the fridge and on a lightly floured board roll out to about 11" diameter - doesn't matter if the edge is raggedy - in fact it adds to it's rusticity!
2. Place the pastry on a well buttered tray - my tray is black so try for a black tray also or you're cooking time will vary from mine - a lighter coloured tray will take longer, I have a nice square baking tray that is perfect for the job, a tray with an edge is preferably to catch the possible running juices - you never can tell if it will run or not.

 Dollop the cold caramel apples in a high blob in the middle of the pastry:
3. Fold the excess pastry over onto the top of the apples trying to make sure there are no little holes/open spaces for the juices to escape...
4. Wet the top of the galette with water, just a little bit to dampen - or use any remaining sticky toffee sauce from the pecans - and sprinkle sugar atop the little darling:
5. Now pop her back into the fridge for about another hour - or longer - as you prefer - this is a necessary step to help the galette keep it's shape.
When you are ready to bake set the oven to 425F and when it's hot put the galette in for about 25 minutes - remember every oven is different so keep an eye on your galette - turn if necessary - my oven does brown more on one side than the other so I turn half way through - don't worry if juices leak, I have only managed a small percentage of none leaking galette's thus far - it will be OK, and bake until it is nice and toasty brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before tumbling the pecans atop and then make a couple of tablespoon of sugar icing with a little milk (a couple of teaspoons to start) and lots of icing/confectioners sugar - drizzle over and allow to set and VOILA - the best ever apple galette!!
So Happy Great Maine Apple Day - here is a link to MOFGA's events for the day - Happy Baking!!!

On a fragrant note - if, like me, you have lots of grungy windfall apples available that are not fit to cook with I have found you can add them to a pot of boiling water - we keep one on our wood burning stove in the winter months to humidify the air - and let them simmer away and they'll make your house smell like delicious apple sauce!

Just FYI - I have had the occasional partial collapse of the pastry during cooking and don't know the cause but it still has come out tasting fine if looking a little lobsided.
As you can see one of our dear, gnarly old apple trees still has quite the bounty to give up so I see a lot more of these galettes in my future!!

The Pee Gee Hydrangea's are spectacular right now o I thought I'd share a couple of pictures with you!

Be in touch and let me know how your galette goes.
Patricia

This delicious morsel is part of the AUGUST TEA TIME TREATS blog hop organized by the ever lovely LAVENDER & LOVAGE and The HEDGECOMBERS  

Click in the box below to go to the August tea time treats and peruse all the fabulous recipes!
Tea Time Treats
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